Monday, July 27, 2015

Get Hooked: Luna Marina and the McMachina by G.A. Costa & A.R. Costa






Title: Luna Marina and the McMachina (The Adventures of Luna Marina Blue Book 1)
Author: G.A. Costa & A.R. Costa
Publisher: G.A. Costa & A.R. Costa
Pages: 485
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Fourteen-year-old Luna Marina Blue has the temper and disposition of a sailor (with the language and the manners to match)!

She's mad at everyone and everything around her, but what has her maddest of all is that it's the first day of school and summer vacation is over. Poor Little Luna has had it with all her shallow friends and the stupid grown-ups who make demands and refuse to listen to her. When one of her classmates recounts her 'wonderful'  summer vacation on an Italian farm, an idyllic place right out of the 1950's, where she told of hayrides, dances, parties and stolen kisses, Luna starts daydreaming about going back in time. She
desperately wants to be in Old Italy during the 1950's, and experience all that for herself.

Luna imagines how she would wow and impress all the poor 'backward' farm people with her beauty, modern look and 'new-age' style; she  would be a little queen and the star of everyone's attention, she just knew it! Later that day, after getting suspended from school and punished at home, Luna gets the chance to have her wish come true. Mad at everyone and convinced that no one cared for her or would even notice if she went missing, Luna accepts the offer, thus  beginning her own Grand Odyssey.

Going back in time to the farming community in and around the Italian town of Pontecorvo during the 1950's, Luna Marina Blue embarks on a journey of personal discovery and realizes that the so-called 'backward' farm people are just as educated, intelligent, and capable as she is (if not more so). She also learns some valuable life lessons and family secrets along the way.

Homesick and desperate to get back to her original family, whom she spurned so easily before, yet learning to love an entirely new family in Old Italy, Luna is torn between her old life in modern times, and the new one she found in the 1950’s.

Luna Marina Blue has a choice to make, one which will echo throughout her entire life and beyond ...Will she stay? Will she go back? What a conundrum!

Teens from fourteen to ninety-four will enjoy taking this journey with Luna, watching her grow from an immature child to a thoughtful and  intelligent young woman, all the while sharing the exciting adventures and wonderful surprises that lie ahead ...

This is a wholesome, feel-good and heartwarming tale that the entire family can enjoy together! Not only will teens and preteens love this story, but adults will as well.

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Book Excerpt:
Luna Marina Blue is dreaming the most perfect dream ever! On her head she’s wearing a jeweled crown made from solid gold and inlaid with delicate silver designs, passed down through the ages, waiting for the moment it could rest on her pretty head. Her long, dark, and lustrous hair (in real life her hair is short and dark) hangs nearly to her waist beautifully. She’s wearing a long and soft gown of blue velvet which seems to glow with its own inner light, matching her eyes perfectly.  Hundreds of people are there, and they all love, adore and admire her and every last one of them looks at her with great expectation. Luna Marina Blue is celebrating her fourteenth birthday and she’s having the time of her life at this unbelievable party. Her birthday party was organized by her Fairy Godmother, Giselle, and everything was done in pink and blue, Luna’s favorite colors. There are fluffy clouds of pink and white, with red and blue roses growing out of them on long, leafy stems. There are big, bright balloons of bright yellow and green (and of course blue and pink as well).  The multilayered birthday cake is pink, white, and frosted silver, taller than Luna herself, with fourteen bright candles and sugar flowers in all the colors of the rainbow.  Besides her entire family and all her friends, the guests are very famous and important people, all dressed beautifully in every color imaginable and all are happy just to be invited. But the best one would be the secret guest.  Giselle had kept quiet about the biggest surprise of all. She said that his last name was Charming and she had laughed joyfully, her tinkling laugh making everyone smile. Luna doesn’t dare say who she thinks this guest would be, but she’s hoping. Then the secret guest finally reveals himself, and she meets THE PRINCE! She looks up into his beautiful eyes and falls completely in love at first sight. This Gorgeous Prince is humble, charming, tall and dashing. He looks admiringly into her deep blue eyes, kisses her tiny hand, and then he wants to kiss HER.  Luna is anticipating the loveliest kiss in the world, drinking him in eagerly. Then she goes for the kiss slowly, jubilantly, their lips getting closer and closer. Just when their lips start to touch and JUST as they start what Luna knows FOR SURE is the most WONDERFUL kiss ever……….she hears someone yelling in the background:
“LUNA, WAKE UP SWEETHEART! FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!.......”  Somebody is shaking her awake. Her Mom is pretty and petite, with short dark hair and blue eyes, perky and sporty, always wearing white sneakers and white cotton shirts on the outside of her slim, neat tailored jeans.  She’s usually kind, gentle and loving, and today she’s really proud of her Little Luna Blue for graduating to the 9th grade.  While she bustles around Luna’s room, she keeps telling her how much she will enjoy seeing her friends, meeting new teachers and maybe even meeting a nice boy to date. But Luna is grumpy, tired and irritable. Slow to wake up, she just wants to stay in bed, blast her music and forget about everyone and everything. She was in the middle of the most perfect dream ever, when Mom unknowingly woke her up AT THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT!! And even if she hadn’t, she would have awoken some time anyway, it was just a dream and not real after all. Bummer!
It’s the First Day of School, and summer vacation is over. How can her Mom be so cheerful, so sweet, so nice, so HAPPY, while Luna is so grumpy?! How can she be that CHIPPER on an awful day like this?  Doesn’t she know that Luna just wants to be left alone and revel in her bad moods? Luna blames everything on her parents, but actually she’s just being her usual grumpy, spoiled, pouty, pissed-off little self. Let’s face it, petite little Luna Marina Blue has the temper and disposition of a sailor (with the manners and the language to match)!  On this particular morning she desperately wants to stay in her rumpled bed and talk to her friends about how bad things are at home and how pissed off she is that Mom makes her clean her room while continuously telling her to be respectful to her elders. Not all of them command respect, as Luna and her friends well know; some of these ELDERS are pretty mean and stupid, like the crossing guard in front of the school.  She’s forty if she’s a day, and she hollers at them to stay put, even when everyone could see that there are no cars coming.  If Mom tells her to do stupid things, dad talks at her like she’s a child.  He demands that she help with chores, while saying:
“No!”  To her spoiled-brat wishes, wants and ravings.  Her brother Kyle is another story all by himself.  The chubby, blondish, spiky-haired eight-years-old is the bane of Luna’s life.  This morning, when she comes down to breakfast, Kyle is already installed at the kitchen table, the smile on his pudgy little face a prelude of things to come.  Luna scrunches her face at the good and nutritious breakfast Mom made: 
“Why can’t we have pastries, brownies, strawberries in clotted cream and other good stuff for breakfast?” She says. And then, with a little snobbish look, she demands:  “I would like a continental breakfast, if you please!  A chocolate croissant and a cappuccino, thank you!” Mom giggles while she serves her a bowl of creamy oatmeal with a bunch of fresh blueberries sprinkled on top, and a fluffy biscuit split and decorated with a pat of butter and a spoon of marmalade.  Mom puts the food on the table with a flourish:
“You are being served, Ms. Blue!”  She snaps the white kitchen towel she carries over her arm, and she says with a smile: “Luna, Honey, please don’t scrunch up your face like that or it will freeze that way!”  Luna’s blue eyes flash in anger, and her black hair sticking up everywhere gives her the look of an angry little Medusa. This morning she wore her tightest cropped jeans full of holes, and she tied her already short shirt around her waist.  Her midriff is bare, and her petite little figure is showing curves she doesn’t even have yet.  She looks much older than fourteen.  Her dad, tall, slim and handsome, with blondish brown hair and brown eyes, an esteemed podiatrist, frowns at her, and sternly says:
“Show your Mom some respect, Luna Marina Blue!  And go change your clothes! You’re going to school, not a beauty contest!” Then he pecks all their collective cheeks quickly, checks his neat suit in the hallway mirror, grabs his leather bag and runs off to work without another word.  While this was going on, Kyle had been trying to kick her under the table the whole time, forcing her to sit sideways.  So, just before she leaves, Luna drops her spoon, bends down to pick it up, and pinches his leg meanly.  Then Luna runs out to the bus (in the same clothes) with a quick:
“Bye!” accompanied by Kyle’s howls and her mother’s soft and reassuring voice.
On the bus, the little Rug Rat Brats, who get dropped off at the kindergarten in the basement of her school, start getting under her skin immediately, and she’s just mean to them, telling them to shut up and disappear.  She gets even madder as the little brats start making fun of her in response to her Stone Face, calling out:
 “Luna-Tic, Luna-Tic, my Big Sister’s a Luna-Tic!” making faces and sticking out their tongues, making her get redder and redder, whereupon they laugh even harder:
“Kyle, you are SOOOO going to be TOAST when I get home! I Promise You!”  Of course that was one of Kyle’s little ditties, Luna figures, as she fumes all the way to school.

About the Authors

G. A. Costa was born in Pawtucket, RI. He grew up in Seekonk, MA and now resides near Boston.  He attended The Perkins School for the Blind until Junior High, where, as a child, he started learning how to sing and play the keyboard.  After outgrowing Perkins, he attended Junior High in Watertown, MA.  He then came home to Attend High School in Seekonk, MA, where he received High Honors and was inducted into The National Honor Society.  While at Seekonk High, he joined 'The Verdandi Male Choir for Swedish Singers' with whom he traveled the country singing in concerts.  After high school, he was accepted at SMU (now UMASS Dartmouth), and graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and with a minor in Sociology.  After graduation, he wrote for a computer magazine and designed computer games.  Besides writing, he now plays various instruments, including the guitar and drums, while continuing to sing and write music. Other interests include any and all kinds of science and physics, reading, listening to music, and electric trains.

A. R. Costa was born in Milan, Italy, just before the Second World War, and was raised in Pontecorvo, Italy, in the Province of Frosinone.  She obtained a teaching degree from 'The Fancy School in Town' when she was twenty, and soon after she was married in The San Bartholomew Cathedral, right across from her house.  Since her mother was born in Fall River, Ma, and always talked about her life in America, Alessandra decided to 'come home' to the USA, and her entire family came with her and her husband.  Now the author and her two children, her brother, sister, their children and grandchildren are all spread out very close to their roots, in and around Fall River, Massachusetts, in the Good, Old U.S. of A.  Her parents, Nonno and Nonna, lie peacefully next to each other, near their family and together forever.
Their latest book is the young adult novel, Luna Marina and the McMachina.

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